Eateries temporarily close, move to take-out only in bid to stop virus

(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 10:22 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state has mandated that restaurants won’t be allowed to serve any sit-down customers.

Most eateries have switched to take-out only — and some have been forced to temporarily close their doors.

Zippy’s said eight of its locations will be temporarily closed until further notice. Those include the Dillingham, Kaimuki, Kapahulu, Pearl City, Pearlridge, Wahiawa and Waimalu locations on Oahu. Zippy’s will also close the Hilo restaurant on Hawaii Island.

Meanwhile, other locations have switched over to take-out. The take-out counters are offering a limited menu, and no one will be allowed to dine in the fast food area.

The wait staff have moved over to the fast food side to help out.

“We want to maintain their employment. They’re certainly going to be affected when it comes to gratuities. We’ve made all the steps we can to keep them employed,” said FCH Enterprises President Paul Yokota.

Customers are urged to order online using their phones.

They will still be able to purchase popular items, including like chili and Zip Pacs.

“They can still get their Korean chicken, our fried chicken, you can still get our saimin and pasta items,” said Yokota. “What we would be temporarily deleting would be some of our sandwich items.”

Sharon Murashima eats at Zippy’s at least once a week.

She understands the need for the drastic changes, but is still disappointed.

“I was very, very sad. Now we have to take out and go home and eat,” said the Manoa resident.

Zippy’s is just one of many eateries forced to modify operations.

Big City Diner also launched a new online ordering service with a limited menu on Friday.

With the switch to takeout and delivery only, most of the company’s roughly 250 employees are on a temporary leave of absence.

“It is very challenging just to keep our employees at ease. Everyone is thinking about their future, ‘How am I going to pay rent? How am I going to pay my bills?’”said owner Lane Muraoka.

The company temporarily closed its Windward Mall restaurant. Business hours were reduced at the other four locations.

“We’re trying our hardest. My aloha goes out to our staff to hang in there and do the best they can,” said Muraoka.

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